Home • News
View Current News Articles

Control the puncturevine weed

Article Published 08/05/2019
One of the peskiest weeds in the Layton area is the puncturevine weed. Unlike most weeds, this nuisance does not grow upward, but fans out along the ground like a spider web.
If not eliminated, this noxious weed, will stretch across and cover a sidewalk and/or clog a gutter. According to the Utah State University extension Service in Farmington, this notorious weed can be a real nuisance.
This weed also has a nickname – goatheads - for its thorny seeds, which can puncture bicycle tires and on occasion, even some vehicle tires. These thorns can also end up on the bottom of shoes and will then be a nuisance indoors, as the thorns are carried into homes. Dogs too, are plagued by the thorns in their footpads, as they walk along puncturevine weed infested sidewalks.
This weed is at its peak in mid to late summer and thrives in hot, dry weather - especially at the edge of unhealthy lawns.
Puncturevines dry up in early fall and then they drop their seeds. These are thorny pods, carrying four to five seeds each. Every plant can produce hundreds of seeds. In the summer growing season, this weed can go from germination to flower in just three weeks.
Residents need to dig up the weeds, spray them with weed killer, or at the least cut them off the sidewalks.
If not controlled, the puncturevine thorns will exist well into winter and will then produce new weeds next year.
Puncturevine seeds can remain dormant for up to five years. Besides regular weed control each growing season, the seeds need to be collected.
Some people use an old piece of carpet, slid along the ground, to help pick up the thorny seeds. Others just use a broom, or a wet/dry vacuum.
Layton City’s ordinances call for control of noxious weeds and puncturevine.